Admitting defeat

March 19th, 2017

So I didn’t post Wednesday… or Thursday… or Friday… or yesterday.

The truth is that—well—the past while has been really tough. I’m trying to work through some things that I don’t know how to handle, and coming up with things to write every day, and trying to make at least some posts cheerful when most of my outlook is just pretty dark (remember when I used to be funny sometimes?), and knowing that what I’ve been able to force out isn’t even very good is proving to be too much.

More truth is that I’m not sure how much longer this is going to last. All of last week through earlier today, everything… just… hurt. I wrote about my emotional state last Sunday, and I felt tense and stressed and short-tempered all week, externally OK (sort of) but easily provoked to internal rage and tears. Yesterday I spent the entire day (minus a four-mile run) at home with no obligations, relaxing as best I could, and in the evening I still ended up sobbing uncontrollably into the lap of a dear friend I’d somehow managed to call even though all I wanted to do was curl into a tight, tight ball on my couch and shake.

I’ve felt this way off and on for months, and the election has made everything much, much worse. It feels silly and juvenile to blame politics and the news—really, what material effect are these things having on my day-to-day life?—but this administration has upset me more than I thought politics ever could. I can’t even see or hear p45, Paul Ryan, Kellyanne Conway, or Jason Chaffetz without literally wanting to scream. I cannot understand, I just cannot, how anyone can be OK with the policies, the ideas, the lies. That the world can be a terrible place I knew in theory; that the world can be a terrible place here and today and that these people are getting away with it is new and devastating.*

It might be different if I felt that I could do anything, but I find the whole situation upsetting to the point of incapacitating (see next-to-last paragraph)—which means I can’t even stomach tiny efforts like making calls. I donate $10 a month to 20 different organizations (including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and NPR), but that feels like so pitifully little. What can I tell my nephews about what I did to fight for good in this wholly repugnant situation? “Well, I was too much of a fragile snowflake to do anything except curl up and melt” is not something I look forward to having to admit. Some people are able to ignore current politics; for me, that feels as reckless and irresponsible as the current inhabitants of the White House.

There are other stressors, too, of course; most are minor and first-world. I have a new boss starting tomorrow, and after a terrible situation with a co-worker a few months ago I’m irrationally afraid we’ll end up hating each other. It’s “crunch time” for a major project. I need to do my taxes and review my 401(k) even though anything involving finances makes me feel incompetent and shamefully ignorant (“you mean you STILL haven’t educated yourself about investing?!”). I need to get my hair cut and that means finding a new stylist (a total crap shoot) and I always feel cheap and un-stylish and inferior and ugly when I walk into a salon and I don’t know what can even be done with fine, thin hair like mine and I’m afraid I’ll get ripped off. These are all things that I can breathe, make plans, and handle when I’m not already stressed to distraction; right now, they feel monumental.

Which brings me back to the blog. I’ve had three goals with Lent: re-start a fitness program that did me a ton of good last year, stay off Facebook, and write every day. I really want to do them all. In a perfect world, I could. In this world, I can’t.

So perhaps the posts will come every few days, or once a week—or not at all. Hopefully at least sometimes. I guess we’ll see.


*Again, if you even THINK of comparing this to the way you or anyone else felt under Obama, I will delete your comment so fucking fast it will set your computer on fire. Which is good, because you are too stupid to be using one anyway.

(I told you the rage was there, just under the surface.)

Also, if you’re too righteous to know that using bad language doesn’t make someone a bad person, and that some situations call for profanity, kindly kiss your own arse and go back to looking up recipes for jello salad.


3 Responses to “Admitting defeat”

  1. Loralee on March 19, 2017 11:38 pm

    Me too sometimes. Good luck.

  2. Jenny Hughart on March 20, 2017 12:44 am

    So this might sound really strange. I am the leader of a Druid group that meets regularly to conduct a healing circle. As part of my duties in this group, I am tasked with listening for a message from the Earth Mother. Last time I did this, the message that I received loud and clear was “whatever you can do is enough. As long as you’re doing it with good intentions and loving kindness, it is enough.” You are enough. Please, please, please don’t beat yourself up over the things that you can’t control. And please don’t delude yourself for one moment that you are alone on this!

  3. Michele Andolina on March 20, 2017 10:50 am

    Hi Sylvia I caught your Blog on my not so smart phone while sitting next to my wife’s bed in a rehab hospital, stroke, she is improving little by little and I try to be encouraged. You and I met in the airport in Atlanta. My plane had been held for ransom by the Venezuelan military and was eight hours late getting to Atlanta. You were returning from Guatemala and I thought you had been on my flight. We were both headed for Boston. So we joined up to head for the gate, scouted under a barrier, got yelled at by security, made it through the scan, shared a glass of wine in the Sky Club, had a wonderful conversation, and boarded our flight. I remember your smile and how happy you had been in Guatemala. I had spent two great weeks teaching at Escuela Bela Vista in Maracaibo and even been able to forgive the nut jobs that ran Venezuela their incompetence. I am saddened that you are upset and want to say you have many, many friends that will not go away in the face of a bevy of wackos in Washington. A government can not change friendship and caring which a real and lasting while governments are ephemeral. Smile!

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